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Widow wishing to sell her share of the house


val douest

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A friend of mine living in France was widowed a couple of years ago and is still living in the home they shared.  She owns over 60% of it and the rest is now owned by her two stepchildren.  The house is far too big for her and she wants to sell it but her stepchildren (one in the UK, one in the USA) do not acknowledge or reply to any correspondence.  

I seem to remember that there is now a procedure in France which covers this situation so that where minority shareholders refuse permission to sell - or ignore all demands to make a decision  - the courts can be approached for a ruling which gives permission for the sale to go ahead.  Does anyone know if this is the case, and if so is an advocat the best person to approach?  Is it one of these things which would be dealt with fairly quickly or is the case likely to be  in a queue for several years waiting to be heard ?

Any help or comments appreciated….

Val
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Her Notaire would help her, he, end of the day would be involved in the property selling process and knows inheritance law inside out. An avocat would be expensive but as a second string to her bow, you usually get a half hour free consultation to see if they wish to take you on. See the notaire first is my advice.
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[quote user="val douest"]A friend of mine living in France was widowed a couple of years ago and is still living in the home they shared.  She owns over 60% of it and the rest is now owned by her two stepchildren.  The house is far too big for her and she wants to sell it but her stepchildren (one in the UK, one in the USA) do not acknowledge or reply to any correspondence.  

I seem to remember that there is now a procedure in France which covers this situation so that where minority shareholders refuse permission to sell - or ignore all demands to make a decision  - the courts can be approached for a ruling which gives permission for the sale to go ahead.  Does anyone know if this is the case, and if so is an advocat the best person to approach?  Is it one of these things which would be dealt with fairly quickly or is the case likely to be  in a queue for several years waiting to be heard ?

Any help or comments appreciated….

Val[/quote]

Hi,

 There has certainly been a fairly recent change in the law on this.   Her notaire can advise on costs and time scales,   It seems to be a fairly routine matter , and I don't think an avocat would be needed.

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This is the bit of legislation (translation).

(article 815-5-1 du code civil)

The party wishing to force the sale must own 2/3 of the property.

A notaire is advised of the intention to sell.

Within the next 30 days, the notaire contacts the other parties and they have 3 months to agree or contest.

In case of no-reply within that timescale, the notaire writes an official report for the next step.

If a party contest the sale or does not reply, the whole thing goes to the Tribunal de Grande Instance to get the necessary permission to sell.

This can take a couple of years and can cost...

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Many thanks to you all for your replies.  It appears that my friend cannot initiate a sale as she doesn't own two thirds of the property.  It is very difficult for her as the others, though liable for a share of some taxes, maintenance of the house etc. are not contributing at all. She may be forced to move into a smaller property and abandon the house.  Perhaps a recorded delivery letter to this effect from the notaire to each of the co-owners might produce some response as they may not want their asset to be left to depreciate...!

Val

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[quote user="val douest"]Many thanks to you all for your replies.  It appears that my friend cannot initiate a sale as she doesn't own two thirds of the property.  It is very difficult for her as the others, though liable for a share of some taxes, maintenance of the house etc. are not contributing at all. She may be forced to move into a smaller property and abandon the house.  Perhaps a recorded delivery letter to this effect from the notaire to each of the co-owners might produce some response as they may not want their asset to be left to depreciate...!

Val

[/quote]

Hi,

   Have you spoken to a notaire?   It appears that even with less than 2/3 of the property , your friend may be able, via the courts to get a ruling that the property can be sold .    The only proviso is that the sale should not have a great impact on the assets of the dissenting co-owners --this is unlikely to be the case here.     You could also ask if ,rather than abandon the property, she could rent it out.

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[quote user="parsnips"]... It appears that even with less than 2/3 of the property , your friend may be able, via the courts to get a ruling that the property can be sold .    The only proviso is that the sale should not have a great impact on the assets of the dissenting co-owners --this is unlikely to be the case here.   [/quote]

Can you give a source for this?

The legislation seems quite clear that the party wishing to sell must own at least 2/3 of the property for the process to be considered.

As I read it, the tribunal's decision on whether the sale will affect the other parties' assets comes much further down the line, after these parties either contest or remain silent following the notaire's contact, contact which can only be established if the selling party owns at least 2/3 of the property.

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[quote user="Clair"][quote user="parsnips"]... It appears that even with less than 2/3 of the property , your friend may be able, via the courts to get a ruling that the property can be sold .    The only proviso is that the sale should not have a great impact on the assets of the dissenting co-owners --this is unlikely to be the case here.   [/quote]

Can you give a source for this?

The legislation seems quite clear that the party wishing to sell must own at least 2/3 of the property for the process to be considered.

As I read it, the tribunal's decision on whether the sale will affect the other parties' assets comes much further down the line, after these parties either contest or remain silent following the notaire's contact, contact which can only be established if the selling party owns at least 2/3 of the property.

[/quote]

Hi,

 See this article, and in particular lll-La vente d'un bien indivis par la licitation , second and third example quoted.     There is nothing here to indicate that such a procedure would be easy or inexpensive, I'm afraid.  

     It needs to be discussed with a notaire , and perhaps the OP will let us know the outcome of such a discussion

www.legavox.fr/blog/maitre-haddad-sabine/delicate-question-cession-bien-immobilier-3422.htm#.UjRUZD-bHgY

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  • 1 month later...
Just an update, as promised, to my original post.  My friend's notaire recently sent a letter to the two stepchildren asking for a response within x days; if this were not forthcoming then legal action would be taken to initiate decisions in their absence.  I have no idea whether this had any legal legs, as it were, but it had the necessary effect:  within a couple of weeks the notaire was informed that the stepchildren had agreed to a sale, and had appointed their own notaire who is authorised to act on their behalf. The house will go on the market immediately and my friend is looking forward to moving into a smaller, more manageable property.

Many thanks everyone for your input,

Val.

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